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United States Naval Test Pilot School Class 164 graduates – Southern Maryland News Net

Photo by NAWCAD Visual Information | A graduation ceremony honoring the 34 graduates of U.S. Naval Test Pilot School Class 164 was held June 14 in Southern Maryland. The graduates, representing nine different military organizations, will serve as pilots and engineers in the development, testing and evaluation of their respective organization's aircraft and aircraft systems. (U.S. Navy photo by Todd Frantom)

History of NAWCAD Visual Information – Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division: The U.S. Naval Test Pilot School (USNTPS) held a graduation ceremony for Class 164 on June 14. Thirty-four students successfully completed the intensive 11-month course and received the designations Engineering Test Pilots, Engineering Test Flight Officers or Test Project Engineer.

Naval aviator and NASA astronaut Captain Victor Glover Jr. delivered the keynote address. Glover was the Navy's exchange pilot selected for the Air Force Test Pilot School, where he graduated in 2007. He is an Artemis II pilot and spent 168 days in space in 2018. Glover will be one of four astronauts on the first lunar mission in over 50 years.

“I would trade places with any of you today,” Glover told the graduating class. “Being a test pilot was the best job I've ever had.”

Glover challenged the class to protect their passions while developing healthy passions.

“I love that [you] “You come and still want to work in public service,” he said. “You are not like everyone else – use that power to help us raise the next generation of responsible people.”

The graduation ceremony was held at the Hollywood Volunteer Fire Department in Hollywood, Maryland. Graduates included members of the German Air Force, Italian Air Force, Singapore Air Force, British Royal Air Force, Swiss Confederation, U.S. Army, Marine Corps, Navy and Air Force.

Captain Elizabeth Somerville, Commodore of Naval Test Wing Atlantic, Lieutenant Colonel Aaron Kia, Commanding Officer of USNTPS, and Dr. John Tritschler, Academic Director of USNTPS, presented diplomas and congratulated the new testers.

Army Capt. Christopher Smith received the Capt. Willie McCool Outstanding Student Award for excellence in academic achievement, flight performance, and technical report writing. He also received the Developmental Testing Thesis Award for best final report.

Maj. Philip Wheat received the Capt. Syd Sherby Leadership Award, named for the founder of the Test Pilot Training Division, now USNTPS. The Capt. Sydney Sherby Award recognizes the student who demonstrates exemplary leadership qualities in the class.

22 students have fulfilled the requirements for the technical test pilot course, six students have completed the technical test flight officer course and six students have fulfilled the requirements for the test project engineer course.

USNTPS trains pilots and engineers to develop, test, and evaluate aircraft and aircraft systems. USNTPS is a component of Naval Test Wing Atlantic under the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division (NAWCAD) in Patuxent River, Maryland. NAWCAD improves the capability and readiness of naval aviation.

Photo by NAWCAD Visual Information | A graduation ceremony honoring the 34 graduates of U.S. Naval Test Pilot School Class 164 was held June 14 in Southern Maryland. The graduates, representing nine different military organizations, will serve as pilots and engineers in the development, testing and evaluation of their respective organization's aircraft and aircraft systems. (U.S. Navy photo by Todd Frantom)








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